Photo Courtesy of The Atlantic
The race for America’s 45th president has been highly scrutinized from the day candidates were announced. For the first time in American history, there was a black neurosurgeon, a second generation Indian, a former first lady and real estate mogul all in pursuit for the keys to the white house. The cast seemed fit for a reality television series but in actuality, one of these candidates would eventually be the ruler of the free world.
As the highly anticipated second week in November neared, more and more candidates proved unfit for the position. The nominees came down to Secretary Hillary Clinton and real estate mogul turned reality television star, Donald Trump; the stage was set.
The streets were calm as millions of viewers laid glued to their television sets Tuesday night, anxiously awaiting the announcement of the next president of the United States. For Kim Palmer, a senior math education student, the anxiety of it all was too much to bear.
“I was at work (and) we were constantly pulling up the results on our phones, trying to see what was going on. It was kind of nerve-wracking…” said Palmer. “It was at one point when the (electoral votes) were 208 to like 217 so I decided to just go to sleep because it was too close and the time was getting later and later.”
As she and many Americans dozed off, poll numbers kept pouring in and Trump gained a sizeable lead over Clinton claiming an unanticipated amount of swing states, painting former blue states red. The final results read: Donald Trump, 290 electoral votes, Hillary Clinton, 228.
The simple shading of red and blue on the map of the U.S. narrated what had taken place over the course of the election. According to the Associated Press, Trump won 90.5% of rural counties and 91.9% of counties where less than 5% of the population is foreign-born. He also won 92.2% of the counties where less than 20% of adults have a bachelor’s degree. Meanwhile, Clinton amassed 71.4% of the counties where at least 30% of the population is foreign-born and 79.1% of the counties where at least 50% of adults have bachelor’s degrees.
While Trump won the electoral vote, Clinton won the popular vote by over six hundred thousand votes.
Trump had only gained 47% of America’s vote with 60,350,241 votes while Clinton claimed 48% with 60,981,118 votes. The difference came in with the aforementioned ‘swing states’ which Trump claimed the majority, winning the top four (Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan and North Carolina) which summed up to 80 electoral votes.
As Americans awoke Wednesday morning, they scrambled for their phones, eager to discover what had taken place during their hiatus.
“The first thing I did when I woke up was go on Google for the results and that’s when I’d seen that Trump won,” said Palmer.
Unlike the Middle East or Africa where if an unpopular candidate won the office, there’d be an uprising or all-out war, Americans did what they do best, invade the internet.
“It was all over Instagram and Snapchat, everyone was going crazy,” said Palmer.
Almost serving as an open diary, social media played hosts to disgruntled but aware Gen Xers and frantic Millennials. Trending hashtags such as ‘notmypresident’ and ‘whitelash’ served as artillery as Twitter wars commenced.
4th-year health care management student, Brittany Johnson, recalls her little brother calling her crying saying that he was afraid to leave the house after witnessing comments from Trump supporters.
“I have never experienced any presidential election where I had to vote and it was so volatile,” said Johnson.
Some of the more peaceful social media protests included the trending hashtag ‘brexit.’ This term is a combination of Britain and exit and refers to when the UK voted to leave the European Union, people in the UK wore safety pins on their clothing to show their cohesion with refugees and immigrants.
In America’s case, people are wearing these safety pins as a sign of unification against racism, sexism, ableism etc., ideals that
many believe Trump supports. English actor, Patrick Stewart, is one of many endorsing this movement.
Trump will take the oath of office on Jan. 20.